Track cycling for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place 130 miles away in LONDON it has been confirmed.
With no suitable venue in the West Midlands, Games organisers found that a Birmingham velodrome would be too expensive and too difficult to build from scratch in the short four year time frame to 2022.
Cycling is an optional sport for the Games. But with it being a major medal winner for Britain and popular attraction among fans they were keen to keep it on the Birmingham 2022 agenda.
So now they will use the Lea Valley Velopark built for the 2012 Olympics in Stratford east London and which also hosted last year’s International Cycling Union Track Cycling World Championships.
It is understood that the Birmingham bid organisers looked at using the Derby Arena Velodrome or converting the Genting Arena at the NEC into a temporary track but rejected both in favour of London’s world class facility.
Also confirmed today was that shooting, another sport in which England generally excels, does not feature in the Birmingham 2022 list. It is again thought this is because the region lacks a world class facility and there is little time to build one.
One reason for Birmingham’s success was that the vast majority of venues are already in place - including the Alexander Stadium, University of Birmingham and NEC facilities.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games had previously been awarded to Durban in South Africa before being withdrawn over financial concerns leaving just four years, instead of the usual seven or eight, to organise the Games.
It meant that rival cities did not have the time to raise funds and, crucially, build a range of venues from scratch. The only brand new permanent venue for Birmingham 2022 will be the acquatics centre at Sandwell, although Alexander Stadium will undergo a major upgrade.